Leonard, Powell lead Clippers past Bulls, 108-103

Jan 31, 2023, 5:37 AM | Updated: 8:33 pm

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George, right, slaps the ball away from Chicago Bulls forward DeMar...

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George, right, slaps the ball away from Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

(AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

CHICAGO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and Norman Powell added 27 to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 108-103 on Tuesday night.

Paul George added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who’ve won six of seven.

Nikola Vucevic had 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bulls, who dropped the first of a four-game homestand. DeMar DeRozan added 20 points and Zach LaVine finished with 18 points and 14 boards.

Los Angeles led 85-84 after three quarters and never trailed in the fourth but couldn’t shake the Bulls until the final seconds. With the Clippers ahead 106-103, Leonard stole the ball from LaVine and made both free throws with 5.2 seconds left to close the door.

“That’s the reason we’ve been winning, because our defense has picked it up and carried us,” George said. “I think we caught our rhythm because of our defense and were able to stay in the game.”

Los Angeles had 15 steals as it forced 20 turnovers overall by Chicago, two off the Bulls’ worst mark of the season.

Powell, meanwhile, came off the bench to outscore the Bulls’ reserves by himself, 27-20.

“He’s instant offense,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “Just come in the game and he can get it going quick. He was huge for us tonight.”

The Clippers trailed by as many as 19 points midway through the second quarter but went to halftime down just 58-54 thanks to a 16-2 run in the final minutes.

“No matter how you lose, it sucks. Period,” DeRozan said. “A team like that, veteran guys, extremely well coached, they’re not going to give up.”

Ivica Zubac finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles.


Clippers: George and Leonard returned after both were held out of Sunday’s loss at Cleveland with knee soreness.

Bulls: LaVine drew a foul at the top of the key from Powell with 1:03 left but missed the first two of three free throws to keep the Bulls behind 104-103. … DeRozan had a career-worst eight turnovers. “Careless,” he said. “It’s entirely too much and we can’t let that happen.”


Clippers: Play the fourth of their six-game road swing Thursday night at Milwaukee.

Bulls: Host Charlotte on Thursday night.


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Leonard, Powell lead Clippers past Bulls, 108-103